Hawaii Legislators Support Farm to School Programs

KITV screenshotOver the past few months, we’ve seen news highlighting school gardens and their importance to supporting better nutrition and local agriculture. On July 7, 2015, Governor David Ige signed Farm to School bill SB 376, which aims to increase the amount of local produce in our school cafeterias.

A recent KITV4 interview quoted Dexter Kishida with the Department of Education (DOE), “Growing it and cooking it are two ways kids eating behaviors change.” The report also estimates the DOE imports more than 80 percent of produce in public school lunches.  That number may be soon decreasing with the signing of this new bill.

The governor’s press release explains “SB 376, Act 218 established the Hawai’i farm-to-school program and funds a farm-to-school coordinator position. Across the nation, farm to school programs are reconnecting students to a better understanding of the food system and where their food comes from. Farm to school programs introduce students to healthier eating habits and help them become familiar with new vegetables and fruits that they and their families will then be more willing to incorporate into their own diets. The farm to school coordinator will negotiate the complicated process of procuring local agricultural for our schools.”

Local farmers have had tremendous challenges competing with mainland prices and Hawaii DOE volume restrictions that require one vendor to supply an entire 256-school system.

“I think one of the important insights is that it doesn’t have to be the exact same suppliers statewide,” said Kyle Datta, general partner at the Ulupono Initiative, in a recent Hawaii Tribune-Herald article. “You can let local agriculture scale up to the community.” He said one of the early missteps in launching statewide farm to school was trying to get local producers to support the needs of the entire state as opposed to their specific areas.

“Maui kids eating Maui pineapple, Oahu kids eating Dole pineapples,” he said. “There’s a lot of things we should have more of that are completely possible.” (Source: Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

Some local charter schools have successfully incorporated local produce into their lunch programs because they manage their own individual procurement. Food hubs, where farmers combine their harvests for higher volume distribution, are also gaining momentum in other school districts nationwide. Here is a recent article in from the St. Paul/Minneapolis Star-Tribune describing one example of this venture.

“We need to make sure students are connecting and understanding where their food comes from and why it matters,” said Lydi Morgan, Coordinator with Hawaii Farm to School & School Garden Hui.

School garden programs are an important part of supporting this initiative. When students grow, harvest and prepare their own dishes using school garden produce, they are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables in school lunches and bring that enthusiasm home to the dinner table.

If you’d like to dig the school garden movement on Maui, visit our volunteer page and introduce yourself! We look forward to seeing you in the garden!

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SOLD OUT!! Nov. 14 – Cooking Kabobs with Chef Nabavi!


chef-paris-nabavi_400x400Join us this fall with Chef Paris Nabavi and his wife Donna, for a special home-cooked dinner event on November 14, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

UPDATE: This event is SOLD OUT, but we are still taking RSVP requests for cancellations. If you want to be put on a wait list, fill out the form below. Also, sign up for Chef Paris’ early bird email list to be first to RSVP for the next event!

Chef Nabavi, Owner of Sangrita Grill and Cantina will be preparing traditional Kabob Barg and Koo-bi-deh paired with Saffron Rice and Roasted Tomato. He will skewer and roast these delicious delights on an outside fire BBQ grill. The dinner menu will also include Salad Shirazi and Mast-0-Maousir with a sweet finish of Noon-Khamei-ie; a cream puff with rose water and fresh whipped cream, enjoyed with hot Chai tea made in Samavar. Scroll down to view the full menu.

Guests are invited to bring a favorite bottle of wine or enjoy a variety of wines chosen from Chef Nabavi’s private collection. Paris invites you to enjoy his garden under the stars among friends, while he shares culinary secrets from his Persian homeland.

We welcome you to join us for this special dinner with friends, fine wine and mouth watering food. We are limited to 20 people and a donation of $150 a person will be given (in full) to Grow Some Good.
pariscookingcollage

See pictures of another recent cooking event here. (photo credit Mieko Photography)

RSVP

Only the first 20 reservations will be accepted. Ages 21 and older.  Please make reservations through Eventbrite link here.

Chef Nabavi’s dinner events sell out quickly, make sure you are the first to hear about his next dinner by signing up for his newsletter.

If you would like to be put on a wait list for cancellations please RSVP directly in the box below and we will put you on a list.

Please complete form below to reserve.

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November 14, 2015
•  MENU  •
Kashk-o- Badem-Joon
Roasted eggplant, onion, garlic, whey, mint
Mast-o-Mousir
Yogurt, wild shallot, fresh herbs, raisin, walnutsPersian pickles, aged pickles, spicy mixed olives, French feta, goat cheese, salted walnut, salted almondFresh herbs, Persian Lavash/ Pita/ Nan BreadsSalad- ShiraziCucumber, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Parsley, Mint, Olive Oil, Citrus Juice***Kabob BargLamb Tenderloin KabobKabob Koo-bi-dehGround Beef Kabob on a stick – served with Persian SumacSaffron RiceRoasted Tomato***Noon-Khame-ie

Cream puff, fresh whipped cream, rose water, saffron, pistachios

***Chai made in Samavar

Persian tea – Raisin cookie – Hand cut sugar

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Plant a Tree of Life – Grow ‘Ulu (breadfruit)

Grow Some Good, in partnership with the Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hana, and the Plant a Tree of Life – Grow ‘Ulu Project, is providing ‘ulu tree (breadfruit) saplings to the Maui community this month in recognition of statewide and global efforts to increase the number of ‘ulu trees growing in our communities.

photo credit: Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden
Photo Credit: Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden

These trees are about 2.5 feet tall in gallon pots and are ready to find new, suitable homes. This popular variety of ‘ulu originated in Samoa and Tonga and has been grown in Hawaii for decades. These Ma’afala (variety) trees are fast growing, more compact shape, highly productive trees that can begin bearing fruit in as little a 2½ to 3 years. It is still a large tree though, and should be planted at least 30 feet from the nearest structure or at least 20-25 feet from other large trees or tree canopies.

ulu tree & fruit
Photo Credit: Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden

Trees are available for pickup at Grow Some Good Work & Learn Days across Maui over the next month. To RESERVE your ‘ulu tree contact Nio Kindla below. Keep in touch on our Facebook page  or subscribe to our newsletter for latest dates and locations of these school garden workdays.

Only one ‘ulu tree per household or location will be given away at this time. Please let us know in your email if you would like additional trees, how many, and how multiple trees at your location will support community food resilience. Additional trees will be distributed late October, as available.

First ‘ulu distribution date is this coming Saturday, September 26th at the Wailuku Elementary School Work & Learn Day from 8:30AM-11:30AM. A tree is yours in return for an hour or two of your kōkua for this workday. The trees are free of charge but if you can support local propagation of more ‘ulu trees by Grow Some Good, please consider a $5 or $10 donation.

ulu
Photo Credit: Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden

The next distribution will be held at Kihei Elementary school’s regular second Saturday Work & Learn Day on October 10th.

For more information on the trees and this ‘ulu project see Plant a Tree of Life – Grow ‘Ulu.

There are multiple articles and images that can help in understanding the proper planting, care and maintenance of these trees. A great resource provided by National Tropical Botanical Garden!

SIGN UP BELOW to get your 'Ulu Tree or ask additional questions.

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